Oh the Londonderry Air

Derry, (officially name Londonderry thanks to the Brits etc.) is the second largest city in Northern Ireland after Belfast. We were there on a quite soggy day, but nonetheless got to see a few things. We had a walking tour, that unfortunately didn’t bother to take us into St. Columb’s cathedral, the pictures of which, on the interior, are beautiful. So, I can only show you the outside. Derry is a walled city.. as the following will attest From the… Read more

Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway

One of the major natural tourist attraction is the Giant’s Causeway, in the northern part of Northern Ireland. This is about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns on the north coast, and it is well worth seeing. It has the name it does due to the myth about Finn McCool. Here’s the Wiki summary of the myth— “The story goes that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), from the Fenian Cycle of Gaelic mythology, was challenged to a fight by… Read more

Irish Valleys and Animals

On our tour we spent time with a couple of Kiwis (no not the fruit, the people from New Zealand!). They kept remarking on how similar some aspects of Ireland were to New Zealand. Yes…. and no. Both places are very green due to plenty of precipitation, and Yes, there are a lot of sheep. In New Zealand the running joke is 3 million people and 30 million sheep. In Ireland the ratio is a little less daunting, but nonetheless,… Read more

More Irish Blessings— Dark Hedges

Ann and I saw many things whilst traveling all over Ireland, and certainly one of the most memorable things is simply seeing the beautiful landscape, remarkable coastlines and the like. Ireland is where much of Game of Thrones is filmed and one can readily see why. When they are not in a giant studio in Belfast (directly behind the Titanic museum, but more on that later), they are all over the island shooting scenes. For example, this remarkable stand of… Read more

Fred Barrett’s Thought for the Day– God’s Patience

St. Francis has an exquisite saying, “God is always courteous and does not invade the privacy of the human soul.” That is the truth expressed in the text. He knocks and asks admission. The Divine wants the human. Everything depends on the faithful “if.” As Holman Hunt said of his picture, “The latch is on the inside.” God knocks and pleads, but does not invade. He is a wooer, but not a house breaker. He would have us, not His… Read more

Thought of the Day from Fred Barrett– Patience is a Virtue

The patience of the New Testament is much more than passive acquiescence. It is positive, the patient endurance which springs from self-control and strength. It is the virtue which inspires bearing up and pressing on in the path and duty even when the burden is heavy and the road rough and steep and long. The patient spirit is the real kingly spirit. Majesty lies not in fiery haste or arrogant banter. That man is a slave whatever his social position… Read more

John Greenlead Whittier’s– The Minister’s Daughter

In the minister’s morning sermon He had told of the primal fall, And how thenceforth the wrath of God Rested on each and all. And how of His will and pleasure, All souls, save a chosen few, Were doomed to the quenchless burning, And held in the way thereto. Yet never by faith’s unreason A saintlier soul was tried, And never the harsh old lesson A tenderer heart belied. And, after the painful service On that pleasant Sabbath day, He… Read more

A Sermon about a Foolish King, who refused to Face the Facts

The following is a sermon written by Fred Barrett in the 1920s, which will be one of many in the third volume of Luminesence. It seems in many ways particularly apt for the political season we find ourselves in today. See what you think— BW3 —– “THE FOOL AND HIS PENKNIFE”—Jeremiah 36.23 (Preached at Fentiman Road 1/13/1924) Jeremiah 36.23 “And it came to pass when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, that the king cut it with the penknife… Read more

Thought for the Day from Fred Barrett– On Emotions and Religion

I have no use for an emotionalism which has no foundation in intelligence and principle, which is not regulated by wisdom, and which does not work or its living. But I simply cannot understand a religion without emotion, and I cannot imagine a religion which is fellowship with Eternal Love being too devout to sing and too phlegmatic to be stirred to enthusiasm. Instead I want to sing, “Oh that all might catch the flame!” Let us draw near to… Read more

Thought for the Day from Fred Barrett— on Worship

The praise should be as beautiful as can be, with nothing slovenly and tawdry about the singing and nothing careless about the reading of God’s word. The prayer, you will agree, should be as soulful and deliberate as talking with God ought to be and the sermon as fittingly phrased and delivered as is becoming of the eternal Gospel. And this is not only for preachers and members of the choir, but for all. The idea is of worship in… Read more